tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 11, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PST
unfortunately we are here on friday still talking about a relief bill for millions of americans that is not finished, congress is still stuck. that's the only thing that matters heading in to the christmas holiday. thank you all for getting up with us "way too early" on this friday morning. don't go anywhere. "morning joe" starts right now. we need to send them back because the republican majority could be the last line of defense to preserve all we have done to defend this nation, revive our economy and preserve the god-given liberties we hold dear. we need to hold the line, georgia. >> oh -- >> wait. i'm confused. >> what he said the last line of defense was just -- >> right. >> well, there's no other line of defense behind him, but the presidency, right? >> so that would mean a joe biden presidency. >> joe biden presidency. better like some republicans in
georgia. to protect those god-given rights that we all hold dear, like being able to vote. >> that would be good. >> knowing that our votes would be counted. knowing that others will not commit treason against the united states to undermine the constitution by trying to disallow or votes if they don't like the outcome of the election like strongmen across america will. i would like somebody out there defending those constitutional traditions that we hold dear. i just wish the republicans felt the same way. >> yeah, i mean, it's bad enough that mike pence and other republicans at the highest reaches of government are doing what they're doing over the last 5 1/2 weeks which is looking the other way while the president tries to pull off this lame coup, but knowing is the worst part. knowing that it's wrong. knowing that it's false. knowing that joe biden is the president-elect. they all know, they all say it in private.
they're calling joe biden to congratulate him. but they're going out and again, they're signing on in the congress to these letters and these amicus briefs to support lawsuits, they're fraudulent. it's incredible what they're doing and they're doing it knowing exactly what they're doing and that's the hell of it. >> well, you have over 1 -- >> really bad. >> garry kasparov, somebody who knows, dissident from the soviet union, they have signed on to a seditious act that is sedition against the united states of america. some might call it treason. you certainly have a president who is trying to commit treasonous acts and please don't believe me, your friendly cable news host and dumb country
lawyer. if you're on that list, history will record you as doing nothing short of trying to overthrow a legal democratic election. they will accuse you of sedition. the word treason will certainly be bounced around for years to come. >> you will know what you did. >> same with the attorneys general that are -- lining up behind a guy who's already been charged with a felony and is now -- all he's doing, he's a grifter as ben sasse did say, he's a grifter, willie, just trying to get a pardon from donald trump. and you have 16 other republican attorneys general again putting their name on a list that history will record as being sedition at the very least and actually, one of the attorneys general against this who is already calling it sedition.
but it is sedition and again perhaps historians will consider it one day to be treason. that they understand that joe biden won this election. they understand there are no legitimate legal challenges and yet they are still trying to overturn the results of an american presidential election. it's never happened before. this is the greatest threat actually to american democracy since the confederacy. of course, they're not going to win, because thank god, we still are a nation of laws. but that doesn't erase the fact that they are trying to overthrow a legitimate presidential election. >> it is, it's a roll call for history. you put it very well. that's a roll call for history. all those 106 republican congress men and women put their name on a list that won't be
forgotten by history. they're doing it enthusiastically and i wanted to show you this video, no more enthusiastically than mike pence. watch the clap as he gets off air force 2, sprinting over to that stage while he claps, bounding up there to make the case that -- >> goodness gracious -- >> it should be overturned, joe. >> that is some prance clapping. going back and forth. was he a cheerleader in college? >> i love prance clapping. it's good exercise. >> prance clapping -- >> all right, guys. >> but mike pence certainly knows better. >> he does. >> everybody around the president knows better. those attorneys general know better. over 100 members of congress know better, but despite the fact they know better and despite the fact that your screen will be filled with pencian prance clapping, say it three times, he is -- he is -- >> he's into it, man.
>> i mean, it's a sad time but that's funny. >> giving us some comic relief. bob costa -- >> jump right in. >> do you think the members of congress understands that donald trump lost the election. they have seen the court rulings. they have seen trump appointees eviscerate trump lawyers as they come in with no evidence, just conspiracy theories and yet over 100 sign on to something that seems to be little more than sedition. >> joe, you keep talking about history rendering a verdict on these house republicans and others who are signing on to the president's cause, but what they're really worried about is the verdict of their own voters and they want to say they went to the brink to try to help president trump. but privately, all of them -- i haven't met one privately who says this is really going to work. there's a few in the
conservative world who believe that the supreme court has an outside shot of hearing this and then moving forward in the president's favor, but very low expectations this is going to go anywhere. this is about signaling support rather than changing the election. >> well, this is all happening of course which is just stunning and staggering on so many levels as we now deal with the major story in front of us right now. and that is that pfizer passed a critical milestone after an independent panel of experts overwhelmingly voted in favor of recommending the fda authorize the covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in people ages 16 and older. 17 were in favor of the authorization. four against, with one person abstaining from the vote. one committee member urged continued studies after two people in the uk had severe allergic reactions after receiving the vaccine. according to federal officials, the initial shipment of 6.4
million doses will leave warehouses within 24 hours of being cleared by the fda. the agency is likely to do so within days and health care workers and nursing home residents will get first priority. u.s. deputy marshals say they're working hand in hand with operation warp speed personnel to provide security for covid-19 vaccines from the facilities where they are manufactured to distribution sites. this comes after a second straight day of all-time highs for cases and deaths from the coronavirus. nbc news data shows the u.s. added more than 225,000 cases and 3,100 deaths yesterday. the cdc director gave the sobering news yesterday that covid-19 is now the leading cause of death for americans. >> but i thought it was just like the flu. >> no. and --
>> because that's what my friends kept telling me, wait, donald tells us it's just like the flu. covid is just like the flu. is it really just like the flu? >> in other countries -- >> when did they ever believe that it was just like the flu, because it was obvious it was never just like the flu. >> joe -- >> why did you allow yourself to believe that? why did you allow yourself to go into a cult that would be responsible for the deaths of people across this country? >> we were talking about the people around donald trump. but donald trump -- >> i'm talking about people who supported donald trump and said it was just like the flu, even after donald trump told bob woodward on tape that it was much worse than the flu and it is worse than the flu. also, guess what? the numbers even surpass heart disease and cancer. >> probably for the next 60 to
90 days we'll have more deaths than we had in 9/11 or pearl harbor and the vaccine approval this week is not going to really impact that. i think to any degree for the next 60 days. >> the u.s. covid-19 project reports a record number of people were hospitalizationed with the virus yesterday. 107,000 people went to the hospital. joining us is dr. vin gupta, an msnbc medical contributor. >> we have good bad and really bad news. the good news, the vaccines are coming online. the bad news is this cold, dark winter that joe biden had warned about, wait a second, that anthony fauci had warned about back in april and may, when president trump said, oh, covid wasn't come backing in the fall. it's here and my god, it's far worse than ever.
>> good morning, joe. you're dead right, first of all. i'm on service right now and i can tell all your viewers right now is that what we're seeing here in seattle is we're a seeing a crisis in the five states around us. i was just in icu last night. we were having americans life flighted from places like alaska, from eastern washington, places like montana, sick, deathly sick, needing life-saving care on arrival and joe, these are individuals as young as 18, as old as 88. and here's the critical supply chain limitation. i have said it before, i'll say it again. saving people's lives in the icu requires human resources that we just do not have at scale. this is the critical piece here. we are thrilled beyond belief that starting mid next week we'll be getting vaccinated here in place like seattle across the country, icu providers, emergency room providers.
so there's relief ahead but the cdc director is correct about my institute here is predicting that 550,000-plus americans will lose their life if we are not adhering to everything we should be adhering to. if governors are not putting in place common sense policies like closing indoor dining at the very least. moving ahead, the vaccine will not change that reality if we're not clear eyed about the path ahead. >> well, if you look at the numbers, they're staggering and they match up with history and surpass history. first of all, overall coronavirus deaths in the united states has now surpassed world war ii combat deaths, okay? this is trump's virus that he let rage out of control and he is now surpassed world war ii combat deaths and the past few days have been the deadliest days in this country from coronavirus. so the numbers here are
staggering, this is as disastrous as it can be. and it's also equally as preventible. it has been preventible and our president and the people around him chose not to prevent these deaths. >> more people dying yesterday -- >> no other way to put it. >> more people died yesterday of covid. keep those numbers up. more people died yesterday of covid than died at pearl harbor on december 7, 1941. that died on september 11th. that died in the 1906 san francisco earthquake. that died at gettysburg. i mean, willie, the numbers are staggering and again what happened on september 11th affected the way we looked at the world and conducted foreign policy and are still conducting foreign policy because of those
deaths on one day. we have been talking about world war ii, the civil war. more people have died from covid than died in combat deaths in world war i, world war ii or the civil war. it is just -- it is unbelievable that this president still is not able to focus on this. and that leaders of his personality cult still don't take it as the public health threat that it is. >> yeah, from the top down. you have got people in congress, particularly republicans in congress also not focused on this. they're happy to tweet about anything else, but when it comes to this they're awfully silent. what's sobering to me is what
dr. redfield say in the clip. not only are we seeing this rate of 9/11 deaths every day but it will continue that way for the next 60 to 90 days. is there anything that can be done to stem that fact which appears to be a fact? >> i'm glad you asked that, willie. there are and it's going to be hard to hear so let me start with some good news. the good news here for all americans, especially parents of young children, we're seeing emerging evidence from places like england and korea that in fact school-based transmission does not appear to be happening. that schools should be reopening, especially elementary schools. young children are not effective at transmitting this virus relative to adults so that's a really, really good thing, willie. that's something that we can open up and open up safely and feel like that's not contributing to this outbreak. let me just give the good news on the vaccine a little extra emphasis here. it's safe and it's effective. there's been that focus on the two allergic reactions but we think that's only in individuals
with very severe prior allergic reactions so another piece of good news that we really can hang our hat on. now, here's what we need to be doing. the university of washington, the home institute, is projecting that unless 44 additional states in our union impose social distancing mandates like closing indoor dining, indoor bars for the foreseeable future while opening up potentially elementary schools and unless that happens, we're going to see projections going from 550,000 american souls to 770,000. that's when it gets bad. common sense policies by governors that's number one. you don't need me to preach on masks but counties that have implemented mask mandates by definition have less stressed health systems than those who have not. that's key as well, willie. we need an aggressive public health messaging campaign on vaccine safety to build
confidence and then what i'll lastly say is nobody should be traveling. full stop on traveling. this mindset that it's going to be the person next to you, not you, that will inadvertently get infected and that needs to end. i hear from people who traveled for thanksgiving and their loved one is now in the icu. in some cases i have five friends who have five friends in the icu and three have lost parents in the last few weeks and a few of them were traveling. they inadvertently passed it on thinking it won't affect them or their family members you cannot travel during this holiday season. no way you can do it safely. >> dr. gupta, we had a doctor on yesterday who was just almost moved me to tears talking about patients that she lost.
she wondered if they'd still be here if the vaccine had been available to them as we wait desperately for the vaccine. i'll let sit there a tweet from michael beschloss. in autocracies, the friends and families of those in control get the best care. rudy giuliani has been openly bragging about the treatment he got and the president himself also bragged about taking a special cocktail. what are the drugs that president trump and rudy giuliani and others are getting that are not available to the american public so they can survive this and would they ever be available or is the vaccine or last best hope? >> mika, i'm so glad you brought that up because here's the thing. the treatments -- i'm glad that mr. giuliani is feeling better and that mr. trump recovered but
here's the critical piece, it's vital. the main drug that they received that virtually 99% of americans will not have access to in a reasonable time frame are the monoclonal antibodies that they called it, that have a proven effectiveness against the virus and it does so quickly. it acts quite quickly especially if you get diagnosed and you don't have severe symptoms up front. they had access to that. there are only 300,000 doses potentially available by the turn of the calendar year. 300,000 doses. we are talking about tens of millions to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines needed quickly for all americans to get the two-dose regimen. 300,000 doses how are we going to equitily distribute these doses especially to people with mild covid-19 disease. so yes, they got privileged
treatment. no question about it. >> one last quick question before we let you get back to work. we talked in short hand about health care workers getting it and those vulnerable and elderly perhaps in long-term care facilities. let's say i have a parent what's 75 or 85 years old, not living in a long-term care facility but meets the 65 and older standard. can they get the vaccine in the early rollout or who is going to get it first and how? >> willie, it's -- so it's going to be purely health care workers and those living in congregant living facilities. the next phase and the panel will likely green light the over 65 population potentially other essential front line workers and then your parents can go to the cvs or kroger's or the doctor's office to get in line for the vaccine. >> all right. thank you so much, dr. gupta.
bob costa, we heard good news coming from the hill over the past week that joe manchin and some republicans including lindsey graham were working on a covid relief bill and were making great progress. word out yet mitch mcconnell thinks that he might be able to kill it. what's the word from the hill? >> that is the word, joe. and the last few weeks have been pretty revealing because the centrists from senator manchin to senator collins, we can -- some people can quibble over whether they should be called centrist but they're more centrist than others in their party. they have been trying to do their own deal, but at the end of the day, they don't have the power. mitch mcconnell, the majority leader, makes the decisions for where the republicans are going to go and he's not comfortable i'm told business he confidants with the arrangement in terms of liability, a liability shield being included for an amount of state and local aid so that
stimulus deal is on the rocks. >> how much is it just mitch mcconnell not wanting to get rolled by centrists in both parties? mitch mcconnell wanting to prove that he still decides what passes and what dies in the senate. >> it's partly it's an assertion of control, but he wants the liability protection in the way he wants it. he knows that secretary mnuchin isn't going to cut a deal at this point like he did back in march with the h.e.r.o.e.s. act with speaker pelosi. georgia is on the horizon and georgia we can't forget is looming like a cloud over all of this, because exciting republican voters in georgia is everything. signing a stimulus deal i'm told by mcconnell's associates isn't seen as a way to win georgia but this could have a political cost down the line. millions of americans are struggling in the economy and
you're seeing pressure from senator josh holly of missouri, working with bernie sanders of vermont, a democratic socialist, to try to insert direct payments into the package. >> all right. we're going to get to our big conversation in just a moment, but first, some other stories making headlines now and this first one is also regarding the coronavirus. 71-year-old richard hinch the newly elected speaker of new hampshire's republican-led house died suddenly from covid-19 on wednesday. the state's attorney general announced the cause of death yesterday morning following an autopsy. the news comes about one month before the state's legislature is set to convene for its annual session. the news will likely increase tensions among lawmakers in the state who have been fiercely divided over the use of masks and other pandemic precautions. earlier this week, president-elect joe biden's son hunter disclosed that federal
authorities are investigating his taxes. now a source familiar with the inquiry tells nbc news that they're investigating the business dealings in china and that the probe started back in 2018 before joe biden announced his candidacy for president. in a statement, hunter biden said in part that he is confident a review of the matter will quote, demonstrate that i handled my affairs legally and appropriately. and democratic lawmakers in the house foreign affairs and senate financial committees are investigating jared kushner's real estate dealings and how it may have affected u.s. foreign policy. according to "the financial times" they're trying to figure out if his push to rescue a billion dollar skyscraper owned by his family played in supporting a saudi led blockade of qatar.
they accepted a bailout from brook field asset management whose second biggest stakeholder is the government of qatar. they had been looking for help, making a $1.2 billion mortgage payment. at the same time u.s. policy shifted toward qatar in a friendlier direction, brokering the end of a saudi blockade that had been in place since 2017. now to an article in the new yorker that caught a lot of people's attention this week, especially on capitol hill. chief washington correspondent for the new yorker jane mayer writes about dianne feinstein, california's 87-year-old senior senator in a piece entitled dianne feinstein's missteps raise a painful age question about senate democrats. and jane joins us now. >> thanks so much for being with us. we're talking about dianne feinstein right now, obviously she asked jack dorsey the same question in the hearing. but you and i and mika of course
mika has been on capitol hill most of her life, either, you know, working there in high school and college. i have been up there and you have been up there reporting. we could have written this story. you could have written this story about robert byrd. you could have written this story for 30 years ago strom thurmond. you have a very funny line where somebody is relaying what a member of congress was saying to harry reid who responded by saying, knock it off, we know what you think. this has been happening in the senate especially for a very long time, but my god, it is disturbing, is it not? >> i mean, it is. and as you say, this is something that everybody in the senate knows. and up on the hill, it's no secret, but it's been kept kind of a secret from the american people and also from voters so that when dianne feinstein ran for re-election in 2018, there
was really no open discussion of this in california. but people on the hill knew all about it. and it's a sad story. i people, this isn't something that gives anybody any joy to talk about really. because she's been a tremendous force in politics and done a lot of fantastic things, but what they're saying and what they have been saying for a couple of years now is she's really slipping. she's really struggling and it got to the point where chuck schumer, the democratic leader in the senate had to intervene. so after the amy coney barrett confirmation hearings, he sort of launched a very series of painful meetings -- well, conversations with her. and the problem was that she forgot between the conversations that they had taken place. she's got severe short-term memory issues and so someone said to me it was kind of like
groundhog day, but only more painful. he had to keep coming back and suggest she should relinquish her duties. >> jane, it's interesting, isn't it, that both presidential candidates had their mental fitness questioned time and again. donald trump over the past four years, joe biden during the presidential campaign. why don't we do with this more with republican and democratic senators who seek re-election at 86? >> i mean, i think it's a good idea. it's been kind of -- there's a culture of complicity and cover-up in congress. it's very deck arouse in some ways but it's being exploded by social media so that you can go online and see dianne feinstein, a video of her on youtube asking
the same question twice in a row without realizing it of a witness and the secrets are coming out. they're harder to keep and in many ways that's a good thing because really this country is in an extraordinary place and we need people with their wits about them to try to solve the problems we're facing. >> but "washington post" bob costa is with us and he has a question. bob? >> jane, beyond senator feinstein, have you heard any about any of the older members of congress, perhaps those in the leadership and private concerns among members in both parties? >> i mean, it's certainly a bipartisan problem. i did ask around about how others are doing and there are concerns about other members but i sort of feel i probably shouldn't put out names without doing -- this took real reporting. i mean, this was not an iffy story, this was something that is for real and that people are
grappling with in real time. and so, yeah, i mean, this is -- "the washington post" did a very good piece a couple of years ago where they talked to the historical association of the hill which showed that it was the oldest senate in history. there were at that time eight octogenarians. dianne feinstein is 87 and chuck grassley, he is only three months younger than feinstein. he's 87. he's talking about running for re-election. i mean, it's -- it should be the voters who get the chance to decide these issues but because of this culture of cover-up, voters really haven't been able to see this. >> and, you know, willie, following up on bob's question to jane which she rightly didn't answer it. it's certainly something that
anybody that reports on capitol hill has heard of similar problems among republicans and other democrats alike. it is, i mean, you have people in their mid 80s who are, you know, again, some talking about running for re-election. it's insanity. >> there's an entire group of senators who are in their mid -- pushing into the upper 80s at this point. one of the criticisms when the piece came out and everyone started to talk about it, this was democrats sort of -- sort of way of saying you know what? we'll speak out about this because of the comity with it, she showed during the amy coney barrett hearings and she hugged lindsey graham and it was the best hearing and that was a bridge too far and they said we'll speak out about this. what do you make of that criticism? >> i mean, the reality is that some of the progressive groups were so upset by her performance
during the amy coney barrett hearings and they spoke out. so there's a half truth that it played a part in publicizing this. but what happened during those hearings was that there was a strategy that the democrats had, which was to try to portray the hearings as an illegitimate process that was being jammed down their throats by the republicans and when the ranking democrat, dianne feinstein, at the end of the hearing said they were the fairest hearings she had ever participated in and hugged her republican counterpart, lindsey graham, the chairman of the committee, it exploded the strategy that the democrats had. so it wasn't just comity, it was also a political under -- you know, just it was -- she just was not working in concert with the -- with her colleagues on this and they were very upset about it. >> so what's the better solution
than, you know, the undermining someone when you realize that perhaps there's something going on or not? what's the better solution to this age issue? >> i think -- i mean, part of the problem here is that incumbency confers so many advantages because once you're in, it's very hard to gets tos to ed out by the senate. elections are so expensive and they need to make elections less expensive. i think the press has to be -- has to step up and hold people accountable in these situations. and i mean, i think that, you know, the people i interviewed blamed to some extent the chuck schumer, the democratic leader for not stepping in earlier. it's a difficult situation. one of the people in -- who knows about it well, one of the people on the hill said, you know how hard it is to take the
car keys away from an older relative? imagine trying to take a spot in the u.s. senate away from someone. i don't pretend to think this is an easy subject, but i think that there are only 100 senators. they have got to function. >> and you know, mika, bottom lining it, it is extraordinarily difficult to beat a sitting incumbent senator. therein lies one of the biggest problems. >> jane's article is online now and in the new issue of "the new yorker." thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," republican senator ben sasse is weighing in on the texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the election suggesting that the texas attorney general is leading the effort in order to get a presidential pardon. we'll take a look at the republicans voicing opposition to the suit. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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the opposition to the texas suit that seeks to invalidate joe biden's win in four states gained a few more republican voices yesterday including nebraska senator ben sasse who told the washington examiner that the suit was a publicity stunt. the supreme court would probably swat it away. sasse added that to him, it looked like texas attorney general ken paxton filed the pr stunt rather than a lawsuit in an attempt to gain a pardon from president trump. paxton is currently the subject of an fbi investigation for illegally using the power of his office to benefit an austin real estate developer. >> so it's a pr stunt.
i'm sure he's trying to get a pardon from the president of the united states but this pr stunt had gained the support of over a hundred members of congress and 17 republican attorneys general. even though there's some in ohio and georgia that are opposing it. and it seems to be an act of sedition and still, ted cruz is talking about wanting to argue the case before the supreme court which we can understand, because donald trump accused his father of murdering jfk and called his wife ugly. why of course wouldn't ted cruz want to do that? but for an obvious pr stunt and an obvious grasp at a pardon, he sure is getting a lot of republican support. >> i get a question all the time, joe, from my friends, people in washington, outside of washington, why are republicans doing this? why are they behaving this way?
isn't president trump going out the door? that's not what they think. he's not going a way. there's a growing acceptance, while he may be at mar-a-lago in 2021, he will not run from the scene. he may prepare to run in 2024. even if he doesn't, he's going to be meddling in primary races in 2022. so many of these republicans are operating sometimes out of loyalty. sometimes to be sharing in the theatrics of the moment and sometimes out of fear. >> when you look at the list of 106 people, i think you touched on it earlier, are there congressmen and women who actually believe this lawsuit out of -- or this filing out of texas has merit or is it purely cynical? is it purely not to infuriate trump voters? >> some of it's cynical, but let's not forget that in some channels of the conservative media, there is a belief still
that president trump has an ability to win this election through going to the supreme court. president trump is watching these media outlets, he's reading the media outlets, it's creating an echo chamber inside of the republican party. so the motives aren't all just to stand with president trump in solidarity, to show voters who are frustrated with president trump's defeat that they're doing that. it's about actually believing the cause and that's where american politics is going. they are not shared facts at this moment. >> not shared facts. ahead, we'll bring in the attorney general for the district of columbia, part of the states pushing back against the texas suit. plus, the fight over covid vaccines. the uneven economic recovery and geopolitics from the paris climate agreement to the iran nuclear deal. a look ahead to the major themes of 2021, just ahead on "morning joe." go on, humans,
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welcome back. as the united states awaits fda approval of the covid vaccine, china officials say they already have vaccinated a million people in that country. joining us now nbc news foreign correspondent janis mackey frayer. she is live in wuhan, china, the site where the coronavirus is believed to have originated. janice? >> well, nearly all of the companies that are manufacturing vaccines here in china we have to remember are state owned or have military involvement. so beijing has a say in where they go. china has also spent most of the past 12 months scaling up production. now having about 500 million doses ready and expecting another 600 million doses next year. what we have seen evolve is this
wide web, this new map of the vaccine world according to china. china has joined covax, the global vaccine distribution scheme to try to make sure that there's fair distribution of vaccines, but covax says it's not going to be able to get supplies to developing countries until late next year. so what this has created is this opportunity for beijing and what's being called vaccine diplomacy. other people would call it soft power. basically, that china is now ensuring that much of the world is going to be receiving a chinese vaccine. if you think of the math, there's now three distinct versions of it for china. you have south america, russia and parts of the middle east particularly the gulf countries that have testing and manufacturing agreements with china. latin america has been given
$1 billion in loans in order to buy doses of chinese vaccines from chinese companies and then africa is getting priority supplies so they're offering chinese vaccines at a lower cost. in some cases, with countries like bangladesh, they're getting thousands of doses for free. so we have seen this web evolve, this now parallel universes between what's happening with the leading vaccine companies like pfizer and their deals was, europe and japan, and what's happening with more than a hundred other countries in the rest of world. what we need to bear in mind with this is that none of what china is doing is happening in coordination with the u.s. >> nbc's janis mackey frayer in wuhan, china, thank you. let's turn now to tom
standage, for a look at the big stories in the trends ahead. let's talk about 2021. '21 associated with good luck as any blackjack player can tell you so let's hope that's right. but obviously we start with covid-19. we start the conversation with the rollout of the vaccines and as who is going to get it and how it will be distributed. >> well, that's one of the big questions for 2021 and it is going to be a debate not just between countries as we just heard but within countries. so, you know, who's at the front of the queue, who's at the the back at the queue, how is this distribution going to be taking place. most countries starting with the populations with health care workers, what happens after that? do you focus on those who are most at risk or those most likely to spread it such as students who may be at less risk of dying from the illness, but may be more likely to be spreading it. so there's lots of debates about this within and between
countries. and then you have got this phenomenon, yes, a few western countries have vastly overordered and there seems to be a lot of optimism of this. we can go back to early 2021. i think that's also a mistake and i think it's going to be much more of a logistical challenge to actually inject the vaccines that people are expecting. >> some people don't realize as you move down the ladder of wealthy nations that might not see it until 2022 or even 2024. obviously we cannot separate the world's economy from what's happening right now in terms of public health. what do you see around the bend in 2021 for world economies? >> well, this is what makes 2021 such a difficult year to forecast because you have got the interacting uncertainty of what happens with the pandemic and what happens with the vaccine and how quickly that can be rolled out. with the shape of the rebound, because the rebound clearly depends very much on getting on top of the vaccine. so what we have seen on top of
the virus, what we have seen so far in 2020 it's very patchy, uneven. you get the start/stop effect. you get different regions, different countries, different industries more or less affected by the vaccine. that again means there's just enormous uncertainty. so it's going to be a difficult year. the other old thing about all of this is that in many countries, particularly true in europe, companies have been supported by government aid. they have sort of frozen the economy as it were and that's veiled the true impact of the pandemic. it's only when that government support is withdrawn in 2021 we'll see the full economic damage caused by the pandemic. so that's another cause of uncertainty that, you know, we really don't have a good handle on just yet. >> of course we're here in the united states in the middle of a fact to see if there will be more economic support for relief. bob costa has a question. >> tom, i always love this issue of the economist,
congratulations. you write about the new world order under president-elect joe biden. what is that based on your own analysis and how is that special relationship between the u.s. and uk going to be transformed if at all in this new era? >> well, we call it the new world disorder actually. because obviously what we have seen in the past four years has been donald trump undermining the rules based international order. and so clearly, there are some areas where joe biden can reverse things that donald trump has done very quickly. going back into the paris agreement on climate, going back into the world health organization, doing things like rebooting the iran nuclear deal. that's going to be a bit more complicated. and, you know, the idea as with the vaccine that we can sort of flick a switch and go back to the way things were, there's no going back to the pre-trump, pre covid world. where does the special relationship fit in? britain's traditional role as not just a close ally of the
u.s. but a bridge to europe, that's no longer relevant when the uk is no longer part of the european union. so this really makes a special relationship, you know, which is -- a relationship on many levels between the two countries less important than it was before. the question of you know who is the -- who is the interlock -- it's unclear. it will be less important after brexit as fully happened in january. >> we have only scratched the surface of the new issue. the world in 2021, it's out now. deputy editor tom standage thank you. and bob costa, thank you as well. still ahead, a look at where the relief negotiations stand on capitol hill as talks appear to hit a breaking point. lawmakers are playing the blame game. nbc's kasie hunt will join us with the very latest.
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everyone knows that this bipartisan proposal is the only real game in up to at the moment, except leader mcconnell who stands to stand in the way of bipartisan progress and who seems to wake up each morning with a new round of outlandish reasons that democrats are so thousand blame for all the world's ills. >> i can say this unequivocally what mr. mcconnell is putting forth in terms of liability is such an assault on america's workers that i hope the group goes nowhere near what he is presenting. >> democrats laying the blame for the stalled progress on a new coronavirus relief bill at the feet of the majority leader speaker pelosi was referring to one of the biggest issues -- liability protections for businesses from essentially
being sued if workers get sick from the virus. it's one of the two big issues lawmakers can't agree on. the other is state and local funding. senator mcconnell's solution is to eliminate both from the bill in order to get it passed. with this, we have pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. and nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of "way too early," kasie hunt joins us. >> so kasie, so mitch mcconnell says let's move forward with covid relief. let's just take those two parts off, the state and local support and anything talking about liability limits? >> that's essentially what he said earlier this week, joe and democrats said no way. we don't want to do that. and this is the same brinksmanship we have been seeing the entire time. both democrats are saying, we can't do this.
they know that they need the leverage that they have right now to get state and local money through is what they need to get it passed. mcconnell feels the same way about liability protections and hence we are still at this stalemate. but remember this is all at the expense of everyday americans who are facing -- i mean, these programs expire the day after christmas. these unemployment benefits that are set to expire for people. i mean, people are trying to buy gifts for their children right now. they're trying to plan for the holidays, hanukkah started yesterday. i mean, it's an incredibly difficult time so i think that you have seen how frustrated some of the centrists are. these bipartisan negotiations came about because members in the middle of both caucus -- the democratic caucus and the republican conference said this is untenable. this is unacceptable. we have to figure out how to do
this. and they have been able to come to some agreements, but the sticking point still remains with leadership and again mcconnell is signaling and yesterday he signalled he may want to put the whole thing on ice. that republicans couldn't accept this compromise. it's a really tough thing to explain to people. >> so let me ask you then, why -- since this is more temporary it's not massive. people are going to need more relief when the new congress is sworn in and the -- in the new year when joe biden becomes president on the 20th. why not go ahead and just pass a relief package and get to the state and the local sections of this bill as well as the section dealing with liability and what the liability shield would look like, get to that next year. why not go ahead and just pass the covid relief right now? >> we may get there, joe.
i mean, democrats are looking around and frankly, some of the centrist republicans they're negotiating with are saying there are state and local jurisdictions ever of where that need help. you have transit systems on the verge of collapsing. just here in washington, they're taking about, you know, completely slashing cutting the metro service that serves downtown d.c. and republicans argue this is a problem that's mostly experienced in blue states and blue cities, but i think centrists in both parties are saying, no, actually, remember the michigan republicans came to washington to try and talk to trump -- president trump about the election and instead they pled with him, please send us money to help shore up our finances. this is, you know, a problem that is affecting everyone. frankly, there's more agreement on it. they seem to have struck a deal on state and local funding in that bipartisan group. so that means liability has always been the stickier piece of this.
you know, why is that? there are a lot of interest groups, trial lawyers. there are lawsuits around that, there was a meat packing plant in iowa, for example, where people were ordered to go to work in the beginning of the outbreak and a lot of people got sick and a lot of people died so democrats are looking at this and saying, okay, you're going to say that blanket any company that doesn't follow the rules, doesn't provide ppe, doesn't go along with local ordinances they'll be immune from lawsuits they don't think that's acceptable. they think this line in the sand is so controversial. we're down in the weeds that have trapped lawmakers and are leaving americans stranded so i think your point is the right one. you know, how do they figure out how to move forward, make sure that these programs don't expire for people because i mean there's reports that "the washington post" had a heart breaking story yesterday about how people stealing food is up in the pandemic. i mean, people are shoplifting food. they talked to one store owner who said, you know, we deal with this from time to time or we used to, but now, you know, i
don't call the police. i stop then and tell them please don't come back. but they look at me and they say, i was just hungry. what do you say to that? so i mean, that's where we are as a country and it's really -- i mean, we're the wealthiest country on the face of the earth and this is where we are. >> kasie, we talk in shorthand in this deal about state and local money and mitch mcconnell has called it bailouts of states. this $160 billion that he'd like to see stripped out of the deal. what are we talking about exactly when we say state and local money? isn't that where we want the money to be? >> so that's what a lot of states both red states and blue states are arguing and trying to say. i mean, state and local money is -- it's cash that comes in from the federal government. sometimes it's a partnership so the state puts up some of the money and the federal government pays some of the rest of it. states do not have the same flexibility that the federal government has. we talk about the debt and deficit that's because the federal government can go into debt, most states can't. so when they sit down and they
look at how they have just hemorrhaged revenues, whether it's, you know, the money that comes from subway tokens, right, the subway system in new york is under incredible pressure, it's about paying firefighters, teachers, other public service workers and, you know, you can think about that in two ways. it's money to pay them but it's money to keep them employed in a crisis of employment, right. we are so close to the bottom fall out underneath that and the states say we need help, because it will contribute to all of the other things you guys are trying to solve as well. >> that's a point that joe manchin was on the show, hey, mitch mcconnell f you want to look police officers and firefighters in the face, sorry i couldn't get a deal done because of the state and local money that would go to you, that on you. >> well, for a second straight day the u.s. saw all-time highs
for covid cases and deaths. nbc news data shows the u.s. added more than 225,000 cases and 3,100 deaths yesterday. the cdc director gave the sobering news yesterday that covid-19 is now the leading cause of death for americans surpassing heart disease and cancer. and again, we shouldn't actually be here, this could have been mitigated. the u.s. covid project reports a record 107,000 people were hospitalized for the virus yesterday. all of which makes yesterday's news from the fda so welcome. and an independent panel of experts overwhelmingly voted in favor of authorizing the pfizer covid-19 vaccine for those ages 16 and older. 17 were in favor of the authorization, four against and one abstaining from the vote.
the doses will leave the warehouses within 24 hours of being cleared by the fda. the agency is likely to do so within days and the health care workers and nursing home residents will get first priority. joining us now assistant professor of epidemiology and immunology at harvard school of health, dr. michael mina. first of all, in terms of getting the vaccine to the right people, do we have the -- do we have the process in place to make that happen fairly? >> well, i would say that the process is getting built as we speak. certainly we have had -- we have seen a lot of deliberations about who is going to be first in line, second in line, third in line to get a vaccine. and so that is all being worked out right now. and then there's going to be a lot of logistical challenges
which i think can be overcome particularly in our country which is well resourced to ensure that these vaccines which do require cold chains can actually get out to the communities that they really need to reach. >> so dr. mina, you have the piece in "the wall street journal" about home-based testing and the need for those to become widely available. what would that look like exactly and is it a -- is it something practical? could we see these in every american home? >> it's absolutely practical. so one thing -- one way that we can stop this virus and we can slow its spread dramatically before everyone gets vaccines is to get everyone access to testing that's fast. testing that's frequent and most importantly, testing that's accessible. tests that everyone can do in their home on their terms. a test that gives you results in just a few minutes. it's a small little paper strip test we can print in the millions. these tests could be developed
and printed. they already exist. much of the world is using them. we have seen the regulatory agencies be very, very slow to take them up and think of them as public health tools. but they can be leveraged to actually slow the spread of this virus by getting everyone to know their status in real time. >> obviously, as you point out in the piece, the problem with a lot of the testing is you get the test and sometimes it takes a week or more and all of the contacts you have in that time makes the result of that test irrelevant by the time you hear you were negative, for example. what is your big picture view of where we are right now? we're -- unfortunately, mika reported another tragic day of 3,100 deaths setting another record. dr. redfield, the director of the cdc said we can see 60 to 90 days of 9/11 level daily deaths. 3,000 or more. what's your view of where we are
right now? >> i mean, you said it. we see thousands of people dying every single day from this virus. we can't wait until june for everyone to be vaccinated or even later than that. we have to act now. and the way that we can act right now to actually curb spread of the virus is not just to enforce lockdowns across the entire country. we can't afford it and that comes with psychological problems with people staying at home all the time, sometimes they're necessary but if everyone could get tests like this just in their homes that would be enough. we can have congress essentially appropriate the funds and, you know, if it takes a presidential order to get around the regulatory hurdles to make these into public health tools i think we should really kind of strongly consider that. because we don't want to continue with thousands of people dying every single day while we await for a vaccine.
it is incredibly important that we developed the vaccine, but these tests in this kind of program, this public health program of testing can work in conjunction and can work today to really help mitigate the spread. >> dr. michael mina, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. eugene robinson, your latest op-ed is the covid-19 pandemic is trump's legacy. he can salvage a shred of the reputation and you write in part this. the worst thing trump did and continues to do is treat the virus less like a threat to the nation and more like a danger to his own political and psychological well-being. trump wants to personally take credit for the rapid development of apparently safe and effective vaccines. i say fine. whatever. give him all the credit he craves if and only if he does what he can to reach the people who are still listening to him
and convince them they that ought to get vaccinated if only as a way of giving trump one final win. i mean, sure, gene, we could do that. >> yeah. >> but with all of the other norms being broken and corruption that's just overflowing out of this white house, you know, i don't know. i think there's going to be a lot of after action report in this presidency and possibly even investigations. it's really hard to just move on from this. >> yeah. spoiler alert, donald trump will not in fact do the right thing at this late date and it's tragic. i mean, you know, look, 3,000-plus deaths a day. the leading cause of death in the united states is covid-19. covid is not the leading cause of death in other countries that have been affected by the
pandemic but that have handled it in more responsible ways. and the most irresponsible thing president trump has done is basically discouraged people from taking the public health measures that would have kept a lot of people alive. masking, social distancing. appropriate shutdowns of -- of, you know, bars and indoor dining when necessary, along with adequate support to get the economy through this awful period so that people aren't so desperate that they have to put themselves in dangerous situations. and, you know, this has been done elsewhere and tests have been kept down to awful but much less awful levels than we have in this country.
we will look back and we will see this as just a monumental failure of -- first of the president and also of government. i mean, the report that kasie just had about the fact that congress can't get it together to pass obviously desperately needed relief in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression. unbelievable. >> yeah. >> unbelievable. >> gene, how do we get our arms around the fact that more people died yesterday than died on september 11th? more people died yesterday than have died in 20 years in fighting a war in afghanistan. more americans have died from a pandemic that the president said was one person coming in from china would be gone soon, it was 15 people coming from china, but it would be gone so, and
initially saying it was no worse than the flu but behind the scenes saying it was five times worse than the flu. how do we come to terms with the fact that more people have died from covid-19, a disease that the president said was going away at easter, than died in combat deaths in world war ii, that died in combat deaths in the civil war. that died in combat deaths in world war i. that died in combat deaths during the korean war and now the number's up to five times -- five times, gene, the number of combat deaths in vietnam. how do we get our arms around that when you have a president that just doesn't give a damn and doesn't even talk about it? he's engaging in sedition, but doesn't even give a damn about a pandemic and dead americans five times the amount that died in 20 years in vietnam. >> you know, it's awfully hard to get your arms around it, joe,
because it wasn't just yesterday. it was the day before, what's true of the day before yesterday and it was true of yesterday and, you know, tragically it will probably be true of today. i mean, we're talking about this level of death for potentially for some time and let us hope and pray that that does not come to pass, but you look at the numbers on the graphs and, you know, the curve is almost vertical at this point. so you have to worry that things will get worse. it is -- it is unbelievable and the tendency and i think it's a human tendency is to almost get numb to it and i think you just have to keep those cumulative numbers in mind, almost 293,000, we'll be over 300,000 deaths within a matter of days and it's
unclear that there's a limit. you know, we're so close. we have one vaccine on the brink of approval and use. we have another one in the pipeline. there are others in development. we see that vaccination for this disease can work and i believe we have plans, there has to be a handoff between the administrations and that, you know, sadly will not go as smoothly as it could. but we will -- you know, we're going to get through this. the next weeks are going to be awful. just going to be awful. >> yeah. yeah. >> but -- >> and so -- go ahead, willie. >> just a beam of light here, guys. some news that crossed over on abc, hhs secretary alex azar announcing the fda will approve -- will grant that emergency use authorization to
the pfizer/biontech vaccine. as we have been saying all morning, within 24 hours this vaccine should be to front line health care workers and should be within 24 to 48 hours to long-term care facilities, to the most vulnerable among us. so just an astounding scientific achievement that will now begin. >> yeah. that is really great news and by the way, my apologies to gene robinson. i had gotten the breaking news that you were going to i said, okay, back to alex while gene was talking. but gene, if you'll be patient with me, after i do this a couple of more times i'm going to get really good at tv. >> all right. >> but think about -- think about it. i know gene is going, what did you say? why is he cutting me off? he'll be really good when he gets a little bit of experience. gene, let's just really briefly talking about how remarkable this really is. that scientists, doctors, across
the world, across the world since early march have all been working on this one thing and we saw it first in britain. we have seen it in other countries. now it's coming to america. we had heard early on wise advice from people saying, don't be too optimistic. this should take usually three or four years. it's going to be a long time, but just an absolute wonder of science and a hope in the middle of a very cold, dark winter some hope that this spring we may actually be able to start returning to normal. >> it is -- it is absolutely astounding and an incredible achievement. and, you know, i think the record for developing a vaccine start to finish before now is like four years and so to have
this done within a year, you know, not just the research tested proved and deployed within a year is just phenomenal. and the -- you know, i have written this and i will say it now. it was a really, really smart thing to do operation warp speed was a smart thing to do to place a variety of bets on a variety of vaccines, to agree to purchase a huge thing -- you know, 100 million doses each, to agree to fund some companies in their research and to start production of these vaccines before they were -- before they were approved. you know, it was -- that was a really smart thing to do and it seems to be paying off.
not every one of the eight candidates chosen is probably going to pan out, but at least a couple have panned out and in a pretty spectacular way and, you know, have a 90, 95% effective vaccine within a year, it's -- you know, obviously something never had been done before. but it is a tremendous achievement. it really is. >> well, we'll end on this. president trump's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, is attributing his top notch coronavirus hospital care to his, quote, celebrity status. >> i had very mild symptoms. i think if it wasn't me, i wouldn't have been put in the hospital. >> really? yeah. >> sometimes when you're -- you know, like you're a celebrity they're worried if something happens to you they're going to examine it more carefully and do
everything right. >> you know, mika, it's like michael beschloss said, you see this in countries where autocrats rule, where people closest to him politically, the people that the autocrat owes political favors to gets the best treatment. we have seen that now in donald trump who every doctor we talk to at the time had said that he was receiving treatment that nobody else in the world had ever received and at the time they were concerned thinking that he was getting too much of all of these doses or else was on the verge of death because he was getting this remarkable -- >> the cocktail. >> this cocktail of drugs. but we saw with him, treated differently than everybody else. we saw it obviously with rudy giuliani and other people who are close to the president. >> this missive from giuliani
comes as president trump and hud secretary carson and chris christie received the antibody treatments that are in extremely short supply. >> we're very grateful that they did. >> so much so that hospitals are administering it in a lottery type system to regular patients. still ahead on "morning joe" more than 100 house republicans get behind the effort by texas to overturn joe biden's win. >> well, another way to put this is a hundred republicans in congress joined 17 republican attorneys general who engage in the open act of sedition. that's how historians will see it. >> we'll talk to the attorney general who's leading a coalition of states urging the supreme court to reject the lawsuit. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. we'll be right back. how about no no uh uh, no way come on, no no n-n-n-no-no
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28 past the hour. the tree is pretty. the hail mary texas lawsuit to overturn the election of joe biden got another wave of support yesterday. 106 house republicans signed on to a filing with the supreme court to back the effort to invalidate votes cast in four battleground states, even though all 50 states have certified the election. >> well, the attorneys general rightly opposing those efforts, saying that it's unconstitutional and seditious and, so anyway, you know, garry kasparov did say that the 100 plus those who signed the document supporting sedition against the united states of america and undermining democratic norms it's helpful to actually have their name on the record for historians to be able
to identify who were the republicans who considered themselves to be in a sort of post democracy phase. >> yeah. those four battleground states filed their responses to the supreme court, along with a coalition of 23 mostly democratic led states and territories. pennsylvania's attorney general josh shapiro called the case, quote, a seditious use of the process. >> that's a great word to use. >> joining us from the district of columbia, attorney general karl racine. what do you make of the republicans who have signed this document? >> well, i think joe has it right, of course, that history will judge those republicans harshly as they will the republican attorneys general who joined attorney general paxton's
brief. you know, my sincere hope is that at some point soon those republican ags even the ones in my room will join the seven republicans -- this is important, who did not go along with texas. attorney general carr, republican from georgia, attorney general lawrence wasden, idaho. these are profiles of courage. we see some of that in the senate all too little with senator sasse, and of course mitt romney. those are the people to help us get through this political quagmire and incourageous time we find in. >> good morning. it's a profile in courage to state the obvious, that this is a quack lawsuit that's undermining an american presidential election.
what do you make of those attorneys general, the attorneys general who have signed on to this, some of whom you know. obviously they went to law school, they're respected attorneys. they're elevated to become attorney general in their state. why are they joining this lawsuit? >> let me be real clear, willie. it's not a one size fits all in the judgment of my 17 colleagues and attorney general paxton. look, some are frankly scared, relentless, coercive pressure by donald trump and obviously their own constituents are weighing in with the president. others may actually believe wrongly and somehow legally that they have an argument. of course, they don't. and you needn't look any further of course than ben ginsberg the prolific republican election lawyer who comes on tv and tells you every day honestly there's never been systemic voter fraud in the united states of america.
so again, i hope my colleagues find their way to the truth. the last piece of this is campaign finance reform. we have got some people in the ag room just like we do in congress who are motivated by their donors to do what their donors want. and that's simply the truth. >> mr. attorney general, kasie hunt has a question for you, but kasie, this just coming across the wire that q poll out says the majority of americans believe the election was fair, but 77% of republicans believe that there was widespread voter fraud. just seriously, i mean, it's just -- it basically means 77% of republicans are disconnected from reality and actually live in an alternative reality. but that is what it is.
>> well, joe, this is why it -- it helps explain exactly why all of those republicans signed on to this lawsuit because they are afraid or worried about those very voters that president trump has this hold over and who are seeing all of this happen and legitimately believing that -- or sorry, there are legitimate claims of voter fraud when in fact we have not seen evidence of them. i mean, mr. attorney general, that brings me to my question for you. what's in your view the motivation for this lawsuit because i mean, ben sasse suggested well, it's because ken paxton wants a pardon from donald trump and that's why all of these state attorneys general have been willing to jump on board. i know you have talked to them privately i know you have relationships even if it's
across the aisle. what are you hearing from people not ken paxton about why they're willing to put their names on something like this? >> i think the poll says it, the folks are concerned about bucking a president. as you correctly noted, president trump has a death grip on the republican party. and death grips don't end well. the republican party is not going to be the same and that's a bad thing. let me give you a good story. that this is. the federal courts and the state courts and i believe the united states supreme court has stood up to this president. my colleagues in the democratic ag room have brought suit against the president about 139 times. we have won 80% of those suits. willie, that's a better winning percentage than the yankees. even better, joe, than the red sox. >> wow. wow. >> oh, my god, much. >> the judiciary -- the judicial branch not elected, they don't
take political contributions. as a democrat, they don't decide every issue the way i like it. i like reasonable gun control. i'm for reproductive rights. i abhor the money in campaigns. but this united states supreme court will do the american democracy experiment right. and they are going to reject this frivolous, erroneous lawsuit. bank on it. >> attorney general for the district of columbia, karl racine, thank you very much. >> he was really -- willie, if you think about it very kind about the winning percentage of the boston red sox particularly this last year. >> it's an attack on on the red sox. that's my yankee ear. he put so it well, in thinking about what we're seeing here with regards to the attorneys
general who signed on, the attorneys general who have signed on to that and all of the 106 congressmen and women, they're saying our loyalty is to donald trump. our fear is of donald trump. not to the states that we represent. not to the constituents we represent. not to the democracy of the country, but to a man that is extraordinary. >> yeah. really is. coming up, the threat of another government shutdown as the vote on a wide ranging defense bill is stalled in the senate because of a dispute over troop draw-downs. plus, dennis mcdonagh has been tapped for v.a. secretary and that pick is wildly out of touch. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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well, later today we'll get a look at more key members of joe biden's cabinet, among them susan rice for domestic policy adviser. a position that won't need senate confirmation. and former obama chief -- >> is that -- that's rough. >> -- to head up the veteran affairs. i love here, she speaks her mind, joe. >> that's why it will be rough. >> that choice isn't sitting well, the mcdonough choice. paul rieckhoff is joining us. >> i agree with you, but my gut, as -- more retirees in my district when i served in congress, people would talk about the irs, i found most of
the bureaucrats are responsive and you call the v.a. they treat my people like garbage. they do everything they cannot to give the benefits promised to them. so when i heard denis mcdonough i actually -- my complaint of him was that barack obama gave him way too much power. like foreign policy was run by obama, ben rhodes and denis mcdonough. so my thought was, oh, good, they're getting a guy in there who actually knows how to make you know what actually work right in washington. but then, obviously, because i have so much respect for you i read your piece. you see it a completely different way. you're very disappointed in it. tell me about that. tell me why. >> yeah, with all due respect, joe, you're a washington insider so that's what i'd expect you to say to this pick and that's where a lot of folks are coming in on this. >> yeah. >> here's the bottom line for
me. representation matters. we talk about it all the time. democrats talk about it all the time and i'm not even a democrat and it matters apparently everywhere in the federal government except at the department of veterans affairs where we've selected again a person who's not a veteran. he -- we were hoping for a post 9/11 veteran. we were hoping for a woman veteran or someone who could be totally transformative. we didn't get a veteran. there are almost 19 million veterans in america, 3 million who served after 9/11. some of the most exception leaders of our time. transformative leaders, people who can get stuff done. and biden passed over all of them for a washington insider. i respect mcdonough, i talked to him yesterday but this is a wrong pick for the wrong time. instead of having a pick that we can look up to and be inspired by as one of our own, we have got a washington insider.
it's really disappointing, it's sad and it's a thud. i think it's cutting to the core of how deep the civil military divide is in our country. we see it with the secretary of defense pick as well. but this one is much deeper. it cuts to the core to how we understand veterans and how both parties view veterans. >> yeah. by the way, such a washington insider that i left congress in 2001. 19 years ago. so boy, it's just -- seriously, the swamp. it's up to my neck. >> is there a more swampy pick, right? like the republicans are probably going to hammer this. progressives are going to hammer this. people who are really going to support this are people who have worked alongside mcdonough and i understand and respect that and democrats. very partisan pick. it's not partisan and really brings people together.
we need more than just a crisis manager is that how low our standards have got an at the v.a. where we'll take not inspiring or motivating, we'll take competent? is that how low our standards have gotten at the v.a. to just want someone who do crisis control? >> well, paul, what i have been tired of is people just getting picked because of their profile. people just getting picked because they fit into the certain box. people getting picked who don't know that they're doing and getting elected to be president of the united states because they're marketed like a bag of potato chips. i mean, i actually -- if i'm going to brain surgery i want somebody who knows how to operate on my brain. that's been my complaint about washington over the past 20 years, this sort of hey, you're a washington insider, we don't want you to be a part of this. that's one of the reasons i felt okay about mcdonough. again, i had been critical of mcdonough when he was in the obama administration, mainly because barack obama had
collapsed his entire foreign policy apparatus to mcdonough, rhodes and obama. not like i have been his cheerleader, but i think maybe for an administration that's been racked by mismanagement over the last 20 years he can get things done. >> he didn't work there either. he has never been a patient there. he didn't work there. he wasn't an undersecretary there and he's never managed anything of this scope and size. chief of staff of the white house is one thing. managing 300,000 employees in a $200 million budget and is really different. if they want to focus on competence and on execution, they could have brought bob mcdonald back in. they wouldn't have gotten any pushback and here and it is a head scratching pick and it feels dismissive. think of all the amazing retired admirals, generals you had on
your show for two decades. they couldn't find one among those 3 million instead of mcdonough? it's insulting on some level. >> paul, you're coming on real strong against this and i'm curious because the group vote vets is very supportive of this choice. they even put out a statement saying denis mcdonough is just what the v.a. needs right now. and we're absolutely enthusiastic about president-elect biden's choice. we call on the senate to swiftly confirm him so veterans can have an agency that works for them again. what do you make of their support? this is an organization like yours that wants the best for our veterans. >> well, it's actually different than the one i led, mika, because it's a partisan political organization that supports democrats. i mean, it's a very partisan group and you'll see many of the partisan groups come out and line up behind a pick like this. the real question is how is the
american legion going to respond, how is the vfw going to respond, how are the next generation veterans going to respond, how are women veterans going to respond, in the same way we got a damning ig report in that the current secretary created the culture of discrimination and there's only 40 days left, but the chairman of the house veterans affairs committee called for the chairman the secretary to resign this week. we need one to make the case to the american people this is not just the veterans affairs administrator. this is the world's largest most important veterans advocate. this is the person who tells our stories, who interprets memorial day and veterans day. they have to be a translator. it's very hard to translate for a community you don't come from. >> hey, paul, it's willie, good to see you this morning. as you know better than anybody, veterans have been frustrated again and again by the v.a.
they have sought the benefits they deserve, they don't get them. they don't get the treatment. we talk about applauding our vets but we don't execute very well on that. so what are the challenges for denis m i p understaunderstand. what is the challenge in front of him, and why is the v.a. s m seemingly such an intractable problem for head of the v.a. after head of the v.a. who can't get the job done? >> first off, i don't assume he's a sure thing, willie. we haven't heard from many republicans yet. i wouldn't assume it's a sure thing, and if it is, that's another disrespect here. the v.a. secretary shouldn't be a rubber stamp. i think the number one issue for our community like it is for the rest of the country is covid. the numbers are skyrocketing inside the v.a., about a 300% increase in the last month in cases. we're now losing veterans at a
very high rate within the v.a. and they don't even know how many are dying outside the v.a. we've tried to do independent research. as many as 20% of the overall dead could be veterans. think of all the nursing home deaths, all the older men especially who are dying inside nursing homes and other types of hospitals. many of them are world war ii vetera veterans. we've got a serious problem here. the v.a. can be a source of support, it can be the place where vaccines are distributed. 37 sites were chosen just yesterday and announced to distribute the vaccine. i think covid is exceptionally important right now as it is to the rest of the country. we've got to talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, the issue front and center is sexual assault. we've got to talk about military sexual assault, how women treated within the v.a. and military more broadly. these are the issues that are front and center, and i think denis mcdonough is going to have a hard time representing, understanding and translating all those issues. >> paul rieckhoff, thank you
very much for your point of view. thanks for coming on this morning. always good to see you. >> anytime, mika. we have a lot more still ahead. as we go to break, a look at who "time" magazine picked for its 2020 person of the year. the magazine chose president-elect joe biden and vice president-elect kamala harri harri harris. "time" says the person of the year is selected based upon how influential they are and is not an endorsement from the magazine. "morning joe" is coming right back. ♪ d'shea: i live in south jamaica, queens,
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probably as we work to negotiate with pfizer, the information doctors need to prescribe it appropriately, we should be seeing the authorization of this first vaccine and will, as you just said, we will work with pfizer to get that shipped out. we could see people being vaccinated monday, tuesday of next week. >> hhs secretary alex azar moments ago with that news on the time line of the vaccine authorization. it's a glimmer of hope after another day of record coronavirus infections and deaths in the u.s. ahead, we'll speak to a member of joe biden's covid advisory board about this development. keep it right here on "morning joe." your family... to your teachers. in that spirit of giving, chevy's proud to give our employee discount to everyone. the chevy price you pay, ...is what we pay.
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presidency. >> so you better elect some republicans in georgia to protect those god given rights that we all hold dear, like being able to vote. >> that'd be good. >> knowing that our votes will be counted. knowing that others will not commit treason against the united states. >> got you. >> and undermine the constitution by trying to disallow our votes if they don't like the outcome of the election, like strong men across america will. yes, i would like somebody out there defending those constitutional traditions that we hold dear. i just wish the republicans felt the same way. >> yeah, i mean, it's bad enough that mike pence and other republicans at the highest reaches of government are doing what they're doing over the last five and a half weeks, which is looking the other way while the president tries to pull off this lame coup, but knowing is the worst part. knowing that it's wrong, knowing that it's false, knowing that joe biden is the president-elect, they all know. they all say it in private.
they're calling joe biden to congratulate him, but they're going out and, again, they're signing on in congress to these letters and these amicus briefs to support lawsuits that are fraudulent. it's incredible what they're doing, and they're doing it knowing. they're doing it knowing exactly what they're doing and that's the hell of it. >> really bad. >> you have over 100 members of congress, who as gary casperoff said, somebody who knows, a dissident from the soviet union, they've signed on to a seditious act, that is sedition against the united states of america. some might call it treason. you certainly have a president who's trying to commit treasonous acts and please, please, don't believe me. your friendly neighborhood cable news host and dumb country lawyer. please don't believe me. do understand, though, if you are on that list, history will
record you as doing nothing short of trying to overthrow a legal democratic election. they will accuse you of sedition. the word treason will certainly be bounced around for years to come. >> you will know what you did. >> and the same with the attorney generals that are lining up behind a guy who's already been charged with a felony and is now -- all he's doing, he's a grifter as ben sasse did say, he's a grifter, willie, who's just trying to get a pardon from donald trump, and you have 16 other republican attorney generals, again, putting their name on a list that history will record as being sedition at the very least and, actually, one of the attorney generals against this who's already calling it se
editio sedition, perhaps historians will consider it one day to be treason that they already understand that joe biden won this election. they understand there are no legitimate legal challenges, and yet, they are still trying to overturn the results of an american presidential election. it's never happened before. this is the greatest threat actually to american democracy since the confederacy. of course, they're not going to win because thank god we still are a nation of laws, but that doesn't erase the fact that they are trying to overthrow a legitimate presidential election. >> it is. it's a roll call for history. you put it very well. that is a roll call for history. all those 106 republican congressmen and women put their names on a list that will not be forgotten by history. it just won't be, and they're
doing it enthusiastically and perhaps no one more enthusiastically, joe, than vice president pence. watch the prance clapping as he gets off air force 2 at a full jog in augusta, georgia, sprinting over that stage while he claps bounding over there to make the case that the election should be overturned, joe. >> goodness gracious, that is some prance clapping. was he a cheerleader in college? >> i love prance clapping. it's good exercise. >> mike pence certainly knows better. >> yep. >> he does. >> and everybody around the president knows better. those attorney generals know better, the over 100 members of congress know better, but despite the fact they know better and despite the fact that your screen is going to be filled once again with the joys of pencian. >> pencian prance clapping, say it three times, he is --
>> he's into it. >> i mean, it's a sad time, but that's funny. >> thanks for giving us some comic relief. bob costa, every one of these members of congress understand that donald trump lost the election, every one of them. they've seen the evidence or the lack thereof. they've seen the court rulings, they've seen trump appointees across the country eviscerate trump lawyers as they come in with absolutely no evidence, just conspiracy theories, and yet, over 100 sign on to something that seems to be little more than sedition. >> joe, you keep talking about history rendering a verdict on these house republicans and others who are signing on to the president's cause, but what they're really worried about is the verdict of their own voerte, they want to say they went to the brink to help president trump, but privately all of them -- i haven't met one privately who says this is
really going to work. there's a few in the conservative world that believe the supreme court has some shot of hearing this. but very low expectations this is going to go anywhere. it's about signaling supporting rather than actually changing the election. >> well, this is all happening, of course, which is just stunning and staggering on so many levels as we now deal with the major story in front of us right now, and that is that pfizer passed a critical milestone after an independent panel of experts overwhelmingly voted in favor of recommending the fda authorize its covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in people ages 16 and older. 17 who are in favor of the authorizati authorization, four against with one person abstaining from the vote. one committee member urged continued studies after two people in the uk had severe allergic reactions after receiving the vaccine. according to federal officials, the initial shipment of
6.4 million doses will leave warehouses within 24 hours of being cleared by the fda. the agency is likely to do so within days, and health care workers and nursing home residents will get first priority. u.s. deputy marshals say they are working hand in hand with operation warp speed personnel to provide security for covid-19 vaccines from the facilities where they are manufactured to distribution sites. this comes after a second straight day of all-time highs for cases and deaths from the coronavirus. nbc news data shows the u.s. added more than 225,000 cases and 3,100 deaths yesterday. the cdc director gave the sobering news yesterday that covid-19 is now the leading cause of death for americans. >> but i thought it was just like the flu. >> no. >> that's what my friends kept
telling me, wait, donald tells us it's just like the flu. covid's just like the flu. is it really just like the flu? >> well, in other countries they have been able to bring these numbers down. >> when did they ever believe it was just like the flu when it was obvious it was never just like the flu -- >> they didn't. joe. >> why did you allow yourself to believe that? why did you allow yourself to go into a cult that would be responsible for the deaths of people across this country? >> you're talking about the people around donald trump. >> i'm talking about people who supported donald trump and said it was just like the flu even after donald trump told bob woodward on tape that it was much worse than the flu, and it is worse than the flu. also, guess what, the numbers even surpass heart disease and cancer. >> probably for the next 60 to
90 days we're going to have more deaths per day than we had in 9/11 or had at pearl harbor, and the reality is the vaccine approval this week is not really going to impact that i think to any degree for the next 60 days. >> the u.s. covid project also reports a record number of people were hospitalized with the virus yesterday. 107,000 people went to the hospital. up next, we'll bring in one of the leading medical voices here on "morning joe" throughout the pandemic, dr. vin gupta joins us with his words of warning for anyone thinking about traveling this holiday season. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. no uh uh, no way
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. joining us now dr. vin gupta. he is a pulmonologist and an nbc news medical contributor. >> hey, dr. gupta, we have good news and we have really bad news. the good news, obviously, the vaccines are coming online. the bad news is this cold, dark winter that joe biden had warned about, that, oh, wait a second, that anthony fauci had warned about back in april and may when president trump said, oh, covid wasn't coming back in the fall. it's here and, my god, it's far worse than ever. >> good morning, joe. you're dead right, first of all. i'm on service right now. what i can tell all your viewers right now is that what we're seeing here in seattle is we're seeing a crisis in the five states around us. i was just in the icu last night. we were having americans life flighted from places like alaska, from eastern washington,
places like montana, sick, deathly sick needing life saving care on arrival, and joe, these are individuals as young as 18, as old as 88, and here's the critical supply chain limitation. i've said it before, i'll say it again. saving people's lives in the icu requires human resources that we just do not have at scale. this is the critical piece here. we are thrilled beyond belief that starting mid next week we're going to be getting vaccinated here in places like seattle, across the country, icu providers, emergency room providers, so there is relief ahead, but the cdc director is correct, 550,000 plus americans will lose their life if we are not adhering to everything we should be adhering to, if governors are not putting in place common sense policies like closing indoor dining at the very least, moving ahead, the vaccine will not change that reality if we're not clear eyed
about the path ahead. >> well, if you look at the numbers, they're staggering, and they match up with history and surpass history. first of all, overall coronavirus deaths in the united states has now surpassed world war ii combat deaths, okay? this is trump's virus that he let rage out of control, and he has now surpassed world war ii combat deaths, and the past few days have been the deadliest days in this country from coronavirus. so the numbers here are staggering. this is as disastrous as it can be, and it's also equally as preventable. it has been preventable and our president and the people around him chose not to prevent these deaths. >> more people died questioned -- >> there's no other way to put it. >> more people died yesterday of covid, keep those numbers up. many people died yesterday of
covid than died at pearl harbor on december 7th, 1941, that die on september 11th, that died in the 1906 san francisco earthquake. i mean, willie, the numbers are staggering, and again, what happened on september 11th affected the way we looked at the world and conducted foreign policy and are still conducting foreign policy because of those deaths on one day. we've been talking about world war ii, the civil war, more people have died from covid than died in combat deaths in world war i, world war ii, or the civil war. it is just -- it is unbelievable
that this president still is not able to focus on this and that leaders of his personality cult still don't take it as the public health threat that it is. >> yeah, from the top down you've got people this congress, particularly republicans in congress not focused on this. they're happy to tweet about anything else. when it comes to this they're awfully silent. what's really sobering is what dr. redfield said in this clip, not only are we seeing this raid of 9/11 deaths, but it's going to continue that way for the next 60 to 90 days. is there anything at this point that can be done to stem that fact, which appears to be a fact? >> i'm glad you asked that, willie. there are, and it's going to be hard to hear. let me start with some good news. the good news here for all americans, especially parents of children, young children, we are seeing emerging evidence from
places like england and korea that, in fact, school based transmission does not appear to be happening. that schools should be reopening, especially elementary schools, young children are not transmitting this virus relative to adults. that's a really, really good thing, willie. that's something we can open up safely and feel like that's not contributing to this outbreak. we're also seeing, let me give the good news on the vaccine a little extra emphasis here. it's safe and it's effective. there's been that focus on the two allergic reactions, but we think that that's only in individuals with very severe prior allergic reactions, so that's another piece of good news that we really can hang our hat on. here's what we need to be doing. to me the university of washington, my home institute is projecting that unless 44 additional states in our union impose social distancing mandates like closing indoor dining, indoor bars for the
foreseeable future, while opening up elementary schools, unless that happens we're going to see projections from 550,000 souls lost by the end of february into april to 770,000. that's when it gets bad. common sense policies by governors, that's number one. obviously you don't need me to preach on masks but we do know counties that have implemented mask mandates by definition have less stressed health systems than those who have not. that's key as well. we also need an aggressive public health messaging campaign on vaccine safety to build confidence, and then what i'll lastly say is nobody should be traveling. full stop on traveling. this mind-set that it's going to be the person next to you, not you that will inadvertently get infected or pass on the virus to a loved one who's vulnerable, that needs to end. willie, i've been hearing this from families -- friends who have loved ones in the icus in places like utah and in texas
who traveled for thanksgiving, and their loved one is now in the icu. in some cases i have five friends who have loved ones in the icus right now, three have lost parents just in the last two weeks, and a few of them were traveling, inadvertently passed it on thinking it was not going to impact them or their family members. you cannot travel in this holid holiday season. absolutely not, there's no way you can do it safely. >> dr. vin gupta, thank you very much. coming up, how the senate battles in georgia are looming over the stimulus talks on capitol hill. bob costa has the details next on "morning joe." e. renew active. only from unitedhealthcare. ♪ lift it ♪ press it ♪ downward dog it ♪ watch it
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♪ we had heard good news coming from the hill over the past week that joe manchin and some republicans including lindsey graham were working on a covid relief bill and were making great progress. word out yesterday, mitch mcconnell thinks that he might be able to kill it. what's the word from the hill? >> that is the word, joe, and the last few weeks have been pretty revealing because the
centrists from senator manchin to senator collins and some people can quibble over whether they can be called centrists but they're more centrist than others in their party, we'll leave it at that. they've been trying to do their own deal. but at the end of the day, the centrists don't have the power. they are not the center of gravity. mitch mcconnell, the majority leader makes the decisions for where the republicans are going to go, and he's not comfortable, i'm told, by his confidants with the arrangement in terms of liability, a liability shield being included for an amount of state and local aid. that stimulus deal is on the rocks. >> how much is mitch mcconnell wanting to get rolled by centrists in both parties? mitch mcconnell wanting to prove that he still decides what passes and what dies in the senate? >> it's partly an assertion of control, but it's also something that lines up with what he's been saying for weeks that he wants this liability protection in the way he wants it.
he knows that secretary mnuchin isn't going to cut a deal at this point, like he did back in march with the heroes act with speaker pelosi. the dynamics have changed. the senate is narrow, georgia's on the horizon, and georgia, we can't forget, is really looming like a cloud over all of this because exciting republican voters in georgia is everything, and signing a stimulus deal, i'm told by mcconnell's associates isn't seen as the way to win georgia. but this could have a political cost down the line. millions of americans are struggling in this economy looking for more federal aid, and you're seeing pressure on mcconnell from senator josh hawley of missouri, a conservative republican and working hand in hand with senator bernie sanders of vermont, a democratic socialist to try to insert direct payments into the package. coming up, with the lack of leadership on the federal level, it is often up to individual cities to wage war on the pandemic. we'll talk to the president of the u.s. conference of mayors about that and what his group learned after meeting with the
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just a little bit ago the fda informed pfizer that they do intend to proceed towards an authorization for their vaccine, so in the next couple of days probably as we work to negotiate with pfizer, the information doctors need to prescribe it appropriately, we should be seeing the authorization of this first vaccine, and we'll, as you just said, we will work with fiez topfizer to get that shipp. we could see people getting vaccinated monday, tuesday of next week. >> that is great news. >> breaking news this morning from hhs secretary alex azar. joining us now clinical assistant professor at the nyu grossman school of medicine, dr. celine gounder, she's also a member of president-elect biden's covid-19 advisory board. i'm curious, he said could be getting vaccines to people
within days. is that possible procedurally? >> so we have enough doses of the vaccine manufactured now that we can start distribution. the companies pfizer, as well as some of the supply chain companies have been trying to come up with distribution plans even before the fda emergency use authorization so that once that comes through officially, they can really dispense doses as quickly as possible. so yes, we fully anticipate that we'll start to see health care workers lining up next week for their first vaccinations. >> now, is that in selected urban areas or is that across america? >> well, i do think it's going to be at sort of the lowest hanging fruit, the urban areas, the big academic medical centers are likely to be the ones that are able to roll this out more quickly and first, but they're certainly not going to be the
only ones, and there is a broader plan to get health care workers across the country vaccinated soon. >> what's the time frame for this getting to the health care workers and getting to those in nursing homes and getting to americans that have underlying conditions? >> so in terms of the nursing homes, much of that is going to be done by some of the big retail pharmacy chains that are then kind of like they conduct flu shot clinics on site at a nursing home, they'll be doing something similar for coronavirus, and it's estimated that that could take about two months or so, maybe three months to roll that out to all of the nursing homes. and then beyond that, trying to get the general population vaccinated, that won't be really until april or may. in the interim, you have quite a number of people, you have the critical infrastructure workers.
after that you're looking at folks who are over 65 who have underlying medical conditions. this is going to be a step by step staged kind of process of phasing in vaccinations. >> dr. gounder, it's willie geist. i'm just following along with your time line there. as you walk through it, where do you see healthy people, the rest of america, if you will, being able to get the vaccine? in other words, when will the entire country, in your estimation, be vaccinated? >>. >> so we're waming faiming for may that the general population would have access to this. that's still going to take some time to get everybody vaccinated, so that may not be optimistically until the end of the summer, early fall that you would see the majority of the population that wants to get vaccinated vaccinated. >> and what about communication about the safety of the vaccine? it's now going to get fda approval. we've been talking to doctors this week who say almost as important as the development of
the vaccine is con vipsivincinge it's okay to take. an a.p. poll showed only 47% of americans, less than a majority said, yes, i'm going to get the vaccine. how do you communicate to the 53% it's safe to do so? >> well, i think some people are not unreasonably nervous because we have developed this vaccine very quickly in an unprecedented time. that said, it has gone through the appropriate safety studies and we would not -- the fda has not cut corners in its approval process, which is actually part of the reason its approval comes later than in the uk and canada, and so people should feel confident that that process has been unfolding the way it normally would, has not been politicized and truly certifies that this is safe and effective for people to take. >> and dr. gounder, what about the actual transition.
you know, when president biden officially becomes president, will there be any hiccups in terms of distribution and the process here. how is it working in terms of connecting with folks on the trump side for the transition in terms of the vaccine? >> well, you know, i think that the transition process is unfolding as it should. no transition is perfectly smooth, much less one in the middle of a pandemic, so you know, i think we do have some challenges. there will be hiccups. that is just par for the course here, but i think what's important is that we really do focus on what needs to be done now, but also that the american people anticipate that it will take a little while before everybody gets vaccinated, and so in the interim, we really do need to double down on measures like mask wearing, keeping six feet apart, if we're around other people doing so outdoors versus indoors, and to the degree possible sticking to our
household bubbles. that really is important until we can get everybody vaccinated. >> all right, dr. celine gounder, thank you very, very much for being on this morning. joining us now we have the mayor of louisville, kentucky, greg fischer. he currently serves as president of the u.s. conference for mayors. we really appreciate you being on. let's start with the vaccine. i know there's a lot of issues, especially covid relief for american citizens, but in terms of vaccine distribution, how do you see this playing out for your city? >> hi, mika. well, finally we've got some good news, right? i mean, this has been such a terrible journey we've been on with covid right now. we've been waiting for the day this vaccine gets approves. we're just days away tr that. now the critical question is how do we get the vaccine to the right people at the right time in the right place. it's a tremendous logistical challenge. mayors around america will be working to get that vaccine to the last inch, you know, to
where that shot's ready go into the arm. it will be working with our state public health organizations and coming through our health care facilities, our pharmacies, clinics, houses of worship, and then building the trust in the vaccine so that people say, yes, let me go as soon as i can possibly get vaccinated. >> yeah, is that the biggest challenge? do you think there will be an issue with trust in the vaccine? and also, will people have to pay for it? >> well, no, there cannot be a financial barrier to get the vaccine. we need to eliminate everything possible in terms of barriers so people will enthusiastically sign up. the number one way to get the economy back open is a successful vaccination distribution policy, so cost cannot be a factor on that. we will have to work, all cities across america will be to have working with the trusted people in their communities, show that
you're getting your shot so people say i can get it too. this is a disruption unlike anything we've seen in our life times with this pandemic, so we need to do everything that we can to make sure we get through this phase, get through summer, faum so t fall, so the economy's back open, the economic toll on this has been just horrible. the anxiety of people, covid fatigue, mental health problems, so we need to do everything we can to get through this. >> mayor fischer, let's talk about the economic side of this. we talk almost every morning and again today about progress on talks on capitol hill to get covid relief out to states and cities like yours. what is the need on the ground right now? how critical is it that something pass for your city in particular before the end of the holidays here? >> well, willie, think about this. we can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, and now to have money -- not have money for testing, tracing, vaccinations, i mean, it's the worst possible timing to do
this. plus, in our city we'd be facing tens of thousands of people that would be evicted. you know, so we've got to extend the moratorium on eviction, unemployment insurance needs to continue through so the economy can keep going, and most importantly, we've got to do everything we possibly can so that the vaccine gets to the people at the right time. as usual, americans are weary of the dithering and the time it's taking in washington to get to a deal, but there's been no more critical time. we've gotten up to this point, so now why would we fumble the ball in terms of getting more relief right now at this time when the vaccine is right around the corner? we've got to get direct federal stimulus to cities so that we can execute on this vaccine and keep our public safety officials employed and move through this virus and get to a better place. >> president of the u.s. conference of mayors, greg fischer, thank you, very, very much. up next, the code breakers, more on the extraordinary scientific feat of developing a vaccine in less than a year and
what that breakthrough means for the future of medicine. and as we go to break, this note as we enter the holiday seas season, make sure you get your christmas play list from filter. the best of the old classics and some new ones as well. you may even hear a track or two from joe's independent council of funk. that's exclusively on filter. we'll be right back. at t-mobile, we believe you should get more. that's why we've merged with sprint. now it's about to get even better. and as we work to integrate sprint's network, our nationwide 5g keeps getting stronger. with the capacity and coverage to reach more people and places across the country. who says you can't have it all. now is the time for 5g. now is the time to join t-mobile.
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"the washington post" david ignatius writes in hislumn thatg a cabinet built for comfort, but what he really needs is vision. david argues that biden's challenge is that after cooling the national fever literally and figuratively, he needs to shake things up. biden should add intellectual fire power with some contrarians who will urge him to take risks. professors, think tank chiefs, top executives that are best technology and consulting companies who can help rethink policy toward russia, china, and other countries, perhaps as ambassadors. if he and his team are going to inspire enthusiasm for the future, we'll need to see some boldness once the electoral college has voted december 14th, and this is truly a done deal.
joining us now is someone who has written extensively about those kinds of people who inspire enthusiasm for the future. professor of history at tulane university walter isaacson whose biographies include ones on such visionaries as steve jobs, ben franklin, and leonardo da vinci. also with us for our series on what joe biden may be able to learn from past presidents, pulitzer prize winning historian and professor at harvard, annette gordon reed. great to have you both with us. >> glad to be here. >> professor, let me begin with you, and let's talk about fdr and how -- what you think joe biden can learn from roosevelt. >> well, i think he can learn the problem of coming into office when there's a crisis, a huge crisis. then it was an economic crisis. we have that as well, but this is a different one, one of a
pandemic, and i think he has to learn -- and he will learn -- that this is a moment to comfort the united states, to actually reassure people that things are going to be okay. the notion of shaking things up is shaking things up is good but there has to be a moment of cooling off. so he can learn how to talk to the american people and to reassure them that we're going to go forward. and that's a huge task for him. >> you also talk about jfk, that he should examine the presidency of jfk and specifically the civil rights challenges that actually were starting to come to fruition at the beginning of jfk's presidency in which he famously brushed aside far too often only to have his successor lbj pick up the mantel in '64 and '65. what can he learn from jfk's three years in office? >> the importance of taking action.
the importance of listening to people on this particular topic. in addition to the pandemic, we've had a huge reckoning, notion of reckoning on race at this particular moment, and it's a hot topic. and it's an important topic. it has been throughout american history. he should listen to people. and not to brush it aside. it took jfk a time. he eventually came around, but he did so because there were people pressing him, and he didn't -- notably, he did not shut people out, and he eventually got to a point where he realized the importance of all of this because the events were overtaking him, and he wanted to be in control of that and to make the contribution that he could under the circumstances. >> walter, i've been talking about harry truman's surrounding himself with brilliant people and taking their advice. there was a notable exception as it pertained to israel and him even -- it's heartbreaking for him, but having to cross george c. marshall.
there's a great story about steve jobs and specifically, him pushing back against people who wanted to go to third party vendors for apps on the iphone. tell us about it. >> steve jobs knew how to listen to people, and he was very stubborn at times. he created the iphone and wanted end to end control so he didn't allow other companies to put apps on the iphone but his board kept pushing back on him. he says, fine if you guys think you're so smart, and used a few four-letter words go ahead and do it. and that was his way of listening to people. they used to give an award at apple to the person who best stood up to steve jobs. and the first four years it was won by women, which was cool, and four women won it, but the cool thing was, when steve found bought it, he didn't get mad. all four of them got promoted. so you have to be able to have people pushing back and listening.
and finally, you have to create a great team like my friend annette said. steve jobs, when i asked him, what was the greatest product you ever did he said, well, creating a product is hard but what's really hard is creating a team that will continually make great products. the best thing i did was create the team at apple. >> annette, can you think of a president that stands out in your mind that created that sort of team? >> most notably, doris kearns goodwin talked about lincoln's team which fought a lot. the team of rivals concept. certainly, i think that bill clinton had a team. now he went through a very controversial presidency and had sort of a different model there, but anyone who brings together people who are forceful, people who are creative and as walter said, people who are willing to -- a person willing to listen. if you can have a great team, but if you don't have the
personality that allows you to change and to be flexible, it's not going to matter. i think the important thing for president biden now is to find people that he's comfortable with. this is an incredible time in the country. i like the idea of contention and all -- but this is a moment for healing and a moment for confidence. and he needs to surround himself with people that he trusts, and that's key. >> you know, walter, speaking of bill clinton, it's interesting how the first few years of bill clinton's presidency, he followed the jfk model. i remember reading in richard reed's wonderful biography about jfk that ike kept telling him, it's a pyramid. you are at the top of that pyramid. and if a problem gets to you, it better be a big problem whereas kennedy saw himself in the middle of a circle with all the arrows pointing to him, and he had incoming coming at him all the time.
bill clinton started that way but didn't end that way. you could argue he became more effective when he went more to the sort of ike pyramid approach. do you have an opinion on presidencies, how they are most effectively organized? >> i think it's very hard to do the pyramid top-down hierarchal approach in the digital age. with power so much decentralized. whether it be power within your own team or within the united states. you can't have hierarchies that easy with the type of digital transmission of information we have. i agree with annette totally that as much as i love david ignatius, my favorite columnist in many ways, i think that before he gets to contention and bold people, the biden administration, he really does have to calm things down and comfort. we talk about doris kearns saying lincoln had a team of rivals. well, biden has a team of buddies. and that may seem a little
problematic when people think we need bold initiatives, but at the moment, we need people trusted by the president who can comfort us and who can exude some competence. so i would like that cooling off period that i think biden is bringing. >> walter, i'm going to ask you about america doing big things. we just did a big thing with the help of the german company biontech. you write about steve jobs and leonardo da vinci as well. america in partnership with another country in this case, in germany, but also american, moderna, just developed and got fda approval for the first of hopefully several vaccines in less than a year. it was a combination of doctors and scientists and government and pharmaceutical companies. what does that tell you about america right now, because there has been so much cynicism and despair around what's happening right now. >> it is a great achievement. it's a great achievement for innovation. a great achievement for alliances like we had with pfizer and biontech, a german
and an american company. and i think one of the important things, after world war ii we created a lot of institutions that invested in basic science. and when you look at what biontech, pfizer has done and moderna has done, it's a whole new type of vaccine that comes out of the most basic thing in the entire planet earth when it comes to science, which is the secret of life. how rna creates proteins in our cells. and that's all that vaccine does is it takes a piece of rna and says create this protein that will give immunity to coronavirus. so we have to look at a country that has, since world war ii, america, been very good at incenting basic science, and we have to realize that we're moving into a new revolution. since the end of world war ii, we were in a digital revolution based on bits and microchips and on/off switches that could
process information. now we're in a molecular revolution where molecules are the new microchip and that's going to take a greater combination of government, industry and academia because creating a vaccine is not something you can do in your dorm room or garage like the google guys or facebook guys did. >> so, annette, can you answer the $64,000 question that seems to be hanging over any talk i give or any interview i give. everybody asks, how should joe biden approach mitch mcconnell and the republican congress? and they use the example of barack obama going in and being effectively shut down by republicans, determined to do little more than end his presidency after one term. what should joe biden do looking back at that history that he was very much a part of? >> well, his inclination, it seems, is to be bipartisan. i mean, he loves the senate.
to work with people as much as possible. but that doesn't really bode well. my advice to him, and i'm not the president, obviously, would be to use whatever powers he has. to do what it takes. we have things to do in the country, and we don't have time for games. and whatever power he can use, making people acting secretaries, whatever he can do to get the ball rolling, i think he should do. make the overtures. if they're rebuffed, don't spend the next four years begging. do what he can. and use the power of the presidency. >> pulitzer prize-winning historian and professor at harvard, annette gordon-reed, thank you so much. and walter isaacson, thank you as well. he's the author of the forth coming book on the new era of biotech entitled "code breakers." thank you both very much. and that does it for us this morning. peter alexander picks up the coverage right now.
>> thank you for watching this week. mika, thanks very much. hello. i'm peter alexander in for stephanie ruhle. it's friday, december 11th. a day of more heartbreak, but also of hope. here's what's happening at this hour. any time now, the fda is expected to approve emergency use authorization for pfizer's covid vaccine after an advisory panel voted to recommend it last night. and just this morning, the health and human services secretary, alex azar, said that americans could be getting those first shots in the next few days. >> just a little bit ago, the fda informed pfizer that they do intend to proceed towards an authorization for their vaccine, so in the next couple of days probably, as we work to negotiate with pfizer, the information doctors need to prescribe it appropriately, we should be seeing the authorization of this first vaccine, and we'll, as you just said, we will work with pfizer